The Team

Dave Boudreau | Ben Garvie

Since cutting their chops on the mean streets of Los Altos and Palo Alto, CA (back in the day), Dave Boudreau and Ben Garvie have separately been serving national clients from various Northern California studios. Long-time friends and veterans of the Silicon Valley experience, it was inevitable that they would team up.

Together, they bring a cumulative 40 years of professional experience to the proverbial table:


Dave Boudreau
Founder, Creative Director

Dave started life as a cartoonist, publishing work in various newspapers, and magazines such as Road & Track. Cartooning helped develop his “inner writer” and this, along with the $17.86 he earned during his career as a professional cartoonist, prompted a dash back to college to pursue an education that would, some day, lead to a real job.

That job turned out to be a 15-year stint in package, collateral, and advertising design for various clients and various media platforms including PC and video games, CDs, and DVDs. Along the way he added photographer and advertising copywriter to his credentials as a graphic designer. This eventually facilitated his move to creative direction, and clients such as id Software, Microprose, and Hasbro Interactive.

Somewhere during all of this, Tim Berners-Lee and Al Gore invented the World Wide Web, and Dave made the leap – serving clients such as Monterey Bay Aquarium, Kaiser-Permanente, and Visa. He founded SignalSmith in early 2007 to better pursue his love of user-oriented, message-driven design.

Prior to all of this, Dave attended Wesleyan University, Massachusetts College of Art, Fitchburg State College, and the University of California, Santa Cruz, and holds bachelor’s degrees in Communication Design and Photography. Dave is also a prolific artist. Visit his online portfolio to preview current work.

Except for love notes to his wife, he rarely cartoons anymore.


Ben Garvie
Creative Director

Ben always knew he could paint. But he never thought he would do that – for a living – when he grew up (which may explain why he’s still considering what he’d like to do when he does grow up). He has also had a life-long love affair with food, so it makes perfect sense that he has became one of the leading food and consumer product illustrators on planet Earth.

Initially an illustrator of many subjects, the first big clue that food & beverage subjects would become his specialty came in 1990 (before he graduated college) when Del Monte tapped him to revamp their entire line of canned vegetable labels. In addition to this work (which is still on the shelves today), Ben’s client list reads like your shopping list: Unilever (Lipton, Dove), Nestlé (confections, Dreyer’s, NesQuick), Dole, Smucker’s, Kraft, Dannon, General Mills, Planter’s, Nabisco… you get the picture.

Today, Ben’s vast experience means he’s as likely to be involved in early-stage concepting and creative direction as he is to be in late-stage final illustrations for the myriad products that pass through the studio every month.

Early attempts to get a real education (biology, physics, etc.) proved fruitless, so Ben took the easy way out and went to art school. He holds a BFA (with distinction) from the accelerated program at Art Center College of Design.